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What Is an Induction Wok?

By Jay Leone
Updated Feb 13, 2024
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The whole concept behind induction cooking involves heating a cookware item such as a pan, pot, or wok opposed to the air around the item or the cooker itself. Induction cookware employs electrical currents; no radiant heat sources including hot coils and flames are needed in induction cooking. Many of the induction woks available feature durable, heavy-duty construction that can hold up to regular use.

Induction cookers like induction woks cook foods much more quickly and efficiently than traditional gas cookers do. While boiling 1.5 gallons (5.86 liters) of water with a radiant or gas cooktop can take over 13 minutes on average, boiling the same amount of water on an induction cooktop can take as little as eight minutes, depending on the model. Induction cookers can boil water fast despite containing no thermal heating element.

Countertop induction woks feature a coil that merely facilitates the flow of an electric current, creating an electromagnetic energy field. The coil itself does not heat up during this process, the electric current instead passes into the wok and causes iron molecules to vibrate. Iron molecules can vibrate at a rate of over 50,000 times per second in this process. The friction that occurs during the vibration creates heat on the bottom of the wok.

Only the induction wok itself and the food within the wok are heated under induction heating. Induction cooking can be over 90 percent efficient because no heat is lost heating the immediate environment. Some induction wok cookware items can deliver up to 71,000 British thermal units (BTUs) of heat.

No flame or other radiant heat source contributes to an overall cooler work environment. Cooking surfaces like those on countertop induction woks that remain cool during periods of operation reduce the risk of injury from accidental contact. These cooktops are ideal for households with little children as they are much safer to operate and use less heat than other types of cooktops. The lack of heat on the surface also makes them much easier to clean up quickly after use. Minimal heat means that spills are not likely to burn on an induction wok.

Countertop woks offer several features that make cooking easier. Certain induction wok models employ advanced technologies, allowing for up to 20 different power settings. The temperature on many models is very easy to adjust with one single knob. Digital model displays use small light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to display power levels. Certain cooktop induction woks come with removable thick glass-ceramic bowls engineered for use exclusively on the wok.

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